[Advisors] Updates and Next Steps

John Mark Walker johnmark at redhat.com
Mon Dec 10 20:17:38 UTC 2012

Greetings, esteemed board members. 

I want to apologize for the radio silence of late. There have been several things we've been working on, but we needed legal approval for many of them, thus the lack of information recently.

First, some sad news. Ewan Mellor left Citrix and is no longer working on cloud infrastructure things, so he resigned from the board. I've always appreciated Ewan's presence and contributions to the Gluster community, and he will be missed. 

Next, there are several items we need to decide on as we approach the coming year. 

1. Governance model changes

One of the things that has come up is that we need a stronger, more assertive board that takes on more responsibility. As our community expands to include more developer partners and other organizations, the board needs to take more ownership of community functions. See the attached document to get a sense of what I'd like to do. This document was created with the generous help of Jim Jagielski (CC'd). This has not been officially approved by our legal department, so there might be a couple of changes here and there. However, the last few drafts have been completed with input from the attorneys, so I feel confident that the spirit of what we will vote on is very much there. There might be an 'i' dotted or 't' crossed somewhere, but it won't change very much. At this point, the only way this document changes significantly is if you want to add something, or if you feel there is something in it that doesn't belong. 

I am sending you this document in confidence because I want to get your input and feedback before we move forward. Please do not share with anyone outside of the board until we approve it, unanimously. 

2. Changes to the board

One thing you'll notice is the proposal concerning the new board. Whereas the current board consists of nice people in the community whom I tapped to give guidance, I propose that the new board have a more direct impact on community goings on. This means that there will be a set of minimum criteria for board membership. An individual will have a proven track record of contributing to the community in some way, whether that be through code contributions, documentation writing, assisting in community forums, hosting meetups, speaking at conferences, etc. 

Individual community members, however, are not the only type of proposed board member. I also propose that we designate representatives of outside organizations that wish to invest in the Gluster community. This means that the particular individual who represents an organization need not be a community contributor, but their employer or sponsor must be. You can see the list of criteria of what constitutes a contributor in the governance document.

There are also proposed processes for voting, board terms, and meeting frequency, among other things. Please review these changes. Once we decide on a date on which to go live, I will ask each of you to nominate individuals to run for a seat. Note that we're not proposing any cap on the number of board members, but we are proposing a 1-year limit on terms with no limit on the number of times you can run for a seat. 

3. Project Incubation

We are going to start accepting multiple projects for inclusion in the Gluster community. This means that GlusterFS will be the flagship project, but will by no means be the only project. Other pieces of what has constituted a GlusterFS release may move to their own project areas, although that is still TBD. These include, but are not limited to, gluster-swift, gluster-HDFS, GluPy, and xsync, as far as sub-projects started by our engineers go. There are also quite a few other projects I'd like to include - UFO Pilot, Bungee, gflocator, pmux, etc. 

There are rules governing how and when a project can graduate from incubation status. 

As part of this multi-project change, we're also looking at gitorious as the software to power the Gluster Forge (I don't want to use the word "forge" - feel free to send me another name)

4. Community processes

There are a few rules about how releases can be made, how communities vote on material changes to a project, etc. Read the doc. 

In all, the document is based on similar documents from the ASF and oVirt communities, so much of what is there should be pretty familiar to some of you. 

I encourage you to read it and send feedback, questions, comments, and angry bitching to the list. 

Let's try to get together for a board meeting in January, probably via telephone, to make some decisions and decide elections, etc. 


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